Most of us could have never predicted or planned how our lives and careers have unfolded. And yet, thinking back on your journey and what you would tell your younger self if you could is a fun and worthwhile exercise. And more exciting still, since we are all on different journeys, one person’s advice for their past self could be exactly what another person needs to hear right now.
At Dreamers & Doers, we are all about embracing the twists and turns life inevitably brings. With that in mind, we asked our collective members:
Based on the career and life you’ve built, what advice would you give your younger self?
Regardless of where you’re at in your personal or professional journey, we hope their candid reflections are an inspiring reminder that we’re all figuring everything out as we go. There is no age limit on success, and you are exactly where you’re meant to be.
Founder and CEO of Fearless+, empowering the next generation and reimagining how young people prepare for their future.
“Be bolder in your vision, set big goals early, and build a powerful network. Take risks early and often. When you are young you have the energy and idealism to dream big.”
CEO of Belgian Boys, a company on a mission to turn up the happy—one delicious breakfast and sweet treat at a time.
“Life is too short to spend time in a job that makes you miserable. Find a job that brings you joy!”
Business Strategist at Amelia Travis Coaching, providing coaching for creative, spiritual women entrepreneurs ditching the empire model.
“Run toward the possibility of failure knowing that every time you make a mistake, you’ll learn from it. Pitch yourself and pursue opportunities with curiosity and enthusiasm, knowing the worst that can happen is nothing.”
Co-Founder of NYC FinTech Women, an organization aimed to empower, connect, and promote women in fintech.
“A career is not a straight line. Sometimes the best and most rewarding career path takes many turns and loops. Be brave and ask and ask again—ask for more money, ask for the promotion, ask for the deal. Invest continuously. Invest in your portfolio, assets, be an angel investor. Make your money work for you.”
Founder of Recruit Rise, a premier program to start your career as a tech recruiter.
“It’s OK to leave a toxic workplace without having anything else lined up next. Trust yourself that you’ll figure it out and you will land right where you need to be.”
Founder and CEO of GSD Solutions, providing companies with technology tools that enable them to connect with their customers and build communities.
“Slow down a bit and enjoy the days. The days become weeks and the weeks become months so quickly. We will all get older and our goals will change and evolve, so be sure to enjoy it.”
Founder of Mindfulness With Dani, offering education, team-building workshops, and individual sessions in meditation, astrology, and reiki.
“The very attributes flagged as weaknesses to suppress may be your biggest value. Asking the question, ‘what part of me do I tend to hide’ is actually a great way to uncover your most potent strengths.”
Founding Partner of Meritarc, helping firms realize the value of their people by creating a shared understanding of careers, objectives, and pay.
“The true definition of success is finding ways to monetize the things that you’re naturally gifted at so you can lead a lifestyle that brings you joy.”
Co-Founder of Curated People, providing high-end and fun virtual events for remote teams and clients.
“Don’t rush the process. Every experience, good or bad, truly has a unique way of shaping all that is to come and what is meant for your individual journey. Focus on good energy, surround yourself with likeminded people, and embrace the ride.”
Founder and Creative Director at RYLEN, a design lab creating sustainable products, services, and meaningful human experiences.
“It is abso-freakin-lutely OK to be a little selfish and put yourself first. Society, culture, and even the closest people to us will try to pressure you regarding what dreams, goals, life, and love you should have. Don’t let them.”
Founding Attorney at Iluma Law Firm, PLLC, a business and trademarks law firm for female founders.
“You can be whatever you want. Be bold, and don’t be afraid to go for it.”
CEO of Lomolique, the first ever high-performance anti-aging facial oil with Renovage.
“Stay open to possibilities and know your own unique worth and value. Work from love and not fear!”
Founder and President of The Booster Club, a dynamic services firm that connects consumer brand leaders with experts, consultants, and side hustlers.
“Build a healthy relationship with money and fearlessly pursue financial knowledge. Building your money muscle at an early age creates an advantage.”
Founder and Lawyer at On Your Terms, showing business leaders how to negotiate agreements.
“Being genuinely curious and asking conversation starting questions opens doors. Expressing true interest in what other people do and how they do it will bring around great relationships, well-matched opportunities, and amazing insights to build your career on.”
CEO of Jill Goldenziel Law, Leadership, & Security Consulting, helping global leaders analyze and mitigate legal and political risk.
“Your career path will not be straight or easy. You have never heard of the job that will allow you to thrive—and what it is will surprise you. And your journey will be more fulfilling than you can imagine.”
Co-Founder and CEO of Konscious Keto, creating a one-stop shop for the Keto lifestyle.
“Remember to pay attention to and nurture your spirit, mind, health, and body, just as much as you work on your career and business. Financial success is so much sweeter when you can live a balanced life and have meaningful relationships with others and, especially, with yourself.”
Founder of Hamilton Raye, providing fractional executive assistant solutions to other businesses.
“Trust your instincts. I wish I would have listened more because trusting myself more would have contributed to my self-assurance and significantly shortened my learning curve.”
Founder and CEO of Veneka, a company that curates personalized capsule wardrobes.
“Prioritize your inner and outer health, and nurture your sense of self worth.”
Founder of Squish Marshmallows, a small batch, handcrafted marshmallow company focusing on unique flavors and confections.
“Trust the process and don’t focus on age. Everyone comes into their own at their own time, and it’s never too late to try or accomplish anything!”
Founder of Retailing Evolved®, an international business consulting firm and merchandising agency helping creatives and retailers globally to multiply and diversify their revenue.
“When you dream, and others around you are scared by your vision, choose those dreams anyway, by any means necessary. This just means you’re a visionary; lightyears ahead of your time, and others don’t have your skill of seeing far into the future.”
Founder and CEO of Gabrielle Thomas Consulting, a business hub for health and wellness practitioners.
“Get to know the voice of your inner critic really well and don’t take direction from it. Instead, get to know the voice of your authentic self and take direction from there.”
Founder and CEO of OTITỌ Executive Leadership Coaching, showing high-achievers and entrepreneurial leaders how to confidently accelerate into more impactful leadership positions.
“Become an expert in yourself. You are your greatest power tool so invest in continuously developing yourself. You are the one thing that you have control over when it comes to creating the success you want.”
Founder and Baby Nutrition Expert at Bébé Foodie, helping parents navigate the ups and downs of their little one’s introduction to solid foods.
“You don’t make your final life choices at 18 years old. Nothing lasts forever. Dream big and trust yourself. Life is full of surprises and opportunities.”
Founder of Bright Brands, helping leaders unlock opportunities and elevate business through brand development.
“Don’t let your tenacity become a hindrance. Sometimes things won’t go your way, no matter how hard you work, and that’s OK. View adversity as a sign to change and seek new opportunities.”
Founder of I’m All Courage, a school for ambitious leaders to reclaim sexual power, be in their untamed self-expression, and be fully embodied in the bedroom and the boardroom.
“There’s an ocean of sadness after your failures. You may want to shrink, curl up, hide or give up. But trust me when I say keep your heart open to love and life because unimaginable possibilities are coming your way.”
Managing Director, Experience & Product at Kin + Carta, a B Corp certified technology, data, and experience consultancy that believes in using business as a force for good.
“Relax! Enjoy the time you have in the role you are in. Be present in the work you are doing and the team you are building relationships with. Learn from the conversations and the challenges you are trying to solve, and learn from the team.”
Founder of Principals, a brand strategy and design consultancy.
“You are never stuck. What you decide you want, you can have. Move on from what’s not serving you, follow your passion, have a vision, and seek advice.”
Manager, Strategic Initiatives at Uber Technologies, a marketplace that connects consumers, businesses, and individuals.
“Beware of unearned wisdom. Your career is a marathon so do not rush the journey on your way to the summit. The art is to throw yourself into the experience, then let it compound. Do the reasonable thing for longer than most are willing to and show up even when the chips are down. This is where you’ll learn and grow the most, and how you will ultimately amplify your impact.”
Co-Founder of RiseWell, a company that creates 100 percent safe and natural alternative toothpastes.
“You can’t control other people or situations. The only thing you can control in life is you and your reaction to whatever life throws at you. Happiness is a choice. You create the meaning behind every life experience.”
Founder and CEO of Allobee, a one-stop business solution for the overwhelmed entrepreneur.
“Trust yourself, your heart, and servant leadership. These attributes are so valuable and will help you build amazing communities and companies. Keep being confident and letting your light shine.”
Brielle Marie Calloway
Founder of Brielle Calloway Coaching + Creative, a holistic business coaching, brand strategy, and creative production.
“Believe in yourself and your dreams and listen to what you want. There are lots of ways to make money, and it is possible to get paid to do what you love. Look for the doors that open, no matter how small, whenever you set out to do something. And enjoy each moment of where you are.”
Founder and Head of Creative at The Working Assembly, a NYC branding and creative agency.
“Ignore everyone who pushed you to have a linear path. Do not fall into the trappings of thinking that working for someone else is financial safety. Do not think that if you work endlessly for an organization they will protect you.”
Founder and Creative Director of Miel Design Studio, a full-service marketing and graphic design studio.
“Don’t be afraid to fail fast. Quickly learning from your mistakes will help you build your business faster, learn more about yourself, and be a more empathetic collaborator with your clients.”
Founder of Dog Spotted, connecting dog parents to the right veterinarians and dog-friendly places in NYC, while supporting them via community and expert advice.
“Don’t feel pressured by what others are doing around you. Many people stay in careers or jobs because that’s what they’re comfortable doing or they are scared to try something different in their 30s. Take the leap into something new. You may be scared as you’ve invested over 10+ years in an industry, but you need to do what brings you joy and flow to your work.”
Founder of Marissa Pick Consulting LLC, providing strategic consulting focused on multiple facets of digital marketing.
“Be open minded and network as much as you can. You never know where life will take you and how your career path may diverge from what you planned.”
Founder and CEO of Lis Best Coaching for Impact, an impact coach and secret weapon for women who are changing the world.
“Say yes to the things that scare you. The only difference between you and the person doing something scary is that they went for it. The truth is, the people who do the things that scare them don’t have some secret ability that allows them to do it. Often, the only difference is that they felt the fear and decided to do it anyway.”
Founder and CEO of Ossa Collective Inc., a woman and non-binary podcast network and two-sided marketplace with 1,400+ podcasts reaching over 12.7 million listeners per month.
“Decide to go all-in when you are pursuing a big life goal. Embrace your decision and vow to yourself that you will do whatever it takes to achieve your goal. Don’t let your fears or doubts hold you back.”
Founder and CEO of Brilliantly, making an app-controlled warming wearable that slips easily into any bra and keeps you feeling comfortable no matter what your day brings.
“Ask for help sooner. Accepting help feels great and yields better results.”